Hello again friends! Welcome to Part 3!
In the last 2 posts I’ve talked all about why we need to clean out and de-clutter our homes. When we have too much stuff it takes our time, energy, money, and ultimately our hearts off of God, who should be our focus and our treasure. Today I’m going to get into the how. For me, this is a 4 step process. Pray, plan, work, and follow through.
This step only takes a couple minutes, but I think it’s just as important as the rest of them. Praying helps us to remember why we’re doing what we’re doing. It can help us to focus, and in all reality “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9. We ought to ask the Lord to direct us where He would have us go in this endeavor.
Some people may be able to just wing it and be successful in this task, but I have to plan. It’s just how my brain works. I am very much a list person, and I wrote out a list of what I wanted to get done to help me to stay on task and to help me with time management. My list looks like this:
- Clean out and organize vanity drawers
- Clean out and organize vanity mirror shelves
- Clean out and reorganize closet – specifically bath toys, lotions, first aid items, etc.
Thursday: Living Room
- Sort through movies
- Clean out side table drawers
- Clean out and organize desk
- Clean out and reorganize pantry – specifically the baking stuff shelf
- Clean out and reorganize utensil drawers
- Clean out “junk drawer”
This is just a sample, there’s more! My goal in this list was to make each day’s work do-able in one day. I didn’t want to have to come back and finish it, because chances are I won’t get back to it! At least not when I would want to. Then I would have all these half done projects on my to do list driving me crazy, because I really enjoy getting to cross things off that list!
Now we can finally go through things. I tend to make pull everything out and sort it into piles. As I sort, I’m asking myself if each item is a treasure, a tool, or trash.
If its treasure (“any thing or person greatly valued or highly prized”) I ask myself why I value it, if I have room for it without forcing it in somewhere, and if I have put before God in my heart. If I can answer these questions “good reason, yes, and no” then it goes into a keep pile. If not, then it needs to go into what I loosely term the Trash pile. I’ll get more into that in a minute. If there is sentimental value attached to something, but we really don’t have the space for it, I may decide to put it in a “think on it” pile to be decided about a little later.
If it’s a tool (“anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose”) I ask myself it it still works for it’s intended purpose, if there is something else that would be better used for that purpose, if I have multiple of this item, and if its purpose still exists here in my home. If I can answer these questions “yes, no, no, yes” then it goes straight into the “keep” pile. If there are multiple of the same thing I decide on a certain number to keep and send the rest to the “trash”pile. Anything that doesn’t work or is no longer needed goes to the “trash”.
Anything that gets sent to the “trash” actually gets sorted into new piles before finally doing away with them. Anything that is truly trash, such as broken items or things with missing parts, go into the recycling or the garbage. Also, things that I don’t even know why I kept from “before I knew better.” Specifically movies or cd’s or anything else that I know I should not watch or use because it blatantly goes against my faith. I know there are things like that hiding around here, and I’m going to dig them out and throw them out. Things that are in good shape and could make it to someone else’s “treasure” or “tool” piles can be sold or given away. An example would be, if I have a box of baby toys that are still in good shape but my kids have grown out of, I may give them away to a new parent or to the church nursery, or I might put it up for sale on a Facebook group. Another example is what I did earlier today:
In the top picture you see what was my top bathroom vanity drawer. We had too much stuff in there and it was all tossed about and a huge mess! I went through and decided that everything in the drawer was a tool, but we didn’t need that many of them. I kept 2 toothbrushes for each person; one they are currently using and one new one (mine and my husband’s current ones are kept in a cup by the mirror). I kept a few each of floss and toothpaste that were already open. The unopened toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss I have set aside to go to a local personal care pantry. Used things that were in bad shape or empty got thrown away. Then I added a cheap dollar store cutlery tray to help keep it organized. Each of my kids have a spot for their own toothbrush so it doesn’t get just thrown back in and become chaos in that drawer again tonight.
This step is probably where I struggle the most in this plan. Once I get the piles sorted, I have to actually do what I say I’m going to do with those items. If I say I’m going to sell some things, I need to actually put them up for sale! I also need to set a time limit on them, that if things don’t sell in a certain amount of time I will give them away. And I have to actually give it away! Not chauffeur it around in my van for 3 months or put it in the garage to take up space and collect dust there!
Whew, we got through a lot of work here today! I hope to see you back here tomorrow, where I will finish my series by talking about ways to keep our homes cleared out of all the extra stuff!